Port Clinton Middle School students Mason McDougall and Caden Chapman work to complete their portion of the “Mission to the Moon” during a field trip to Challenger Learning Center in Oregon, Ohio.
On Dec. 20 a group of thirty-two Port Clinton Middle School sixth grade students traveled to the Challenger Learning Center in Oregon, Ohio, to complete a space mission simulation. The trip was sponsored by the North Point ESC as a part of their STEM initiative to increase student enthusiasm about math, science and technology. The Challenger Center specifically designed this simulation program to provide an authentic encounter that increases the principles of teamwork, responsible decision-making, problem-solving and communication. Students were immersed in a realistic Mission Control and Space Station environment with computer consoles, communication headsets, continuous messages on the loud speakers, electronic messages, teammates they could only see on video monitors, emergency sounds and flashing lights and hands-on activities at science stations.
Student participants and jobs for the mission were as follows: Remote-Hunter Mominee, Mason McDougall, Lyman Brown, Caden Chapman; Medical-Sierra Thomas, Morgan Grimm, Dale Bagovich, Valorie Borton; Isolation-Dylan Simpson, Gavin Preston, Jaxon Martinez, Kyle Coleman; Probe-Omar Lucero, Eli Burkholder, Cooper Kowal, Dylan Smothers; Life Support-Cara Linn, Elena Kessler, Jasper Nickel, Taylor Bubb; Communication-Grace Talbott, Chris Knowles, Sam Walker, Gracie Heilmann; Data-Hannah Moore, Mattison Koskela, Kaylee Phillips, Hannah Paeth; Navigation-Cooper Stine, Lohany Arambula, Michael Baxter, Bobby Geisheimer.
Ms. Jennifer Kelley, Fleet 6 science teacher said, “Embedded throughout the mission were opportunities for students to apply the skills they have learned in the classroom, grasp abstract concepts and take responsibility for their own learning. This year they were also given a few challenges that the International Space Station has been experiencing and the students came up with the same solutions as the NASA engineers. I was very proud of their problem-solving and teamwork.” The students successfully completed their individual tasks which, in turn, allowed the entire group to accomplish the final goal of landing on the moon. Ultimately, the students left the experience with a renewed spirit of camaraderie, self-esteem and commitment to learning.